Campaigners clean up beaches


???????????????????????????????HELMEPA has said the wide participation of companies, schools, local stakeholders and citizens in its Month of Action for the Marine Environment, which continues until Monday, has been very encouraging.

Beach and underwater clean-ups have already been carried out in more than 130 areas of Greece with the participation of 6,000 young and adult volunteers. The results from the recording of collected items, will be published during November in the form of a nationwide survey on marine litter.

Last Thursday, the staff of LAMDA Flisvos Marina, a corporate member of HELMEPA, in cooperation with HELMEPA Junior children members and their teachers from the Elementary School of Lechaio in Corinth cleaned the beach of Loutraki. The volunteers were warmly welcomed by Mr S Perras, Vice Mayor for Cleanliness and Environment of the Municipality of Loutraki, who thanked them for their initiative.

The participation of the Municipality of Glyfada in the International Coastal Cleanup campaign was two-fold:  an interesting Workshop was organised on Saturday with presentations on marine litter by scientists from HELMEPA and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) and a speech by a representative of the 1st Special Squad for Natural Disasters (ΕΜΑΚ) on marine salvage.  Participants were welcomed by the Mayor of Glyfada, Mr G Papanikolaou and following, the Minister for Shipping and Aegean, Mr M Varvitsiotis, a resident of Glyfada himself, delivered a short address on the important role of volunteers in marine environmental protection.

The following day, the Municipal Office for Civil Protection and Volunteerism in cooperation with HELMEPA coordinated a clean-up of the beaches of Glyfada with the participation of many volunteers. Recyclable items were collected by a truck of the Hellenic Recycling-Recovery Corporation.

The importance of cooperation for the protection of the marine environment was also highlighted during beach and underwater clean-ups organised on Sunday at Ag Marina and Tourkolimano Lavreotikis. Participants in this voluntary activity were the members of the Residents’ Association of Agia Marina Thorikou, staff members of JTI Hellas, a corporate member of HELMEPA along with their families, as well as numerous children and adult volunteers from the local community. Their impressive results included the collection of 627 kgs of litter and 135 kgs of recyclables!  The specific Association has been promoting locally for the past eight years the JTI-HELMEPA public awareness campaign for “Clean Beaches without Cigarette Ends”, which has involved the dissemination of a total of 500,000 cardboard ashtrays to beachgoers throughout Greece.

According to the information received to date, clean-ups were also carried out during the past weekend at Agios Alexandros in Elliniko by the local Municipality and Scouts, at Kymi and the Municipality  of Dirfis-Messapies on Evia Island, at Kellarios Gulf by the Municipality of Thessaloniki, along the riverbanks of Krafsidonas in Volos by the School of 2nd Opportunity and the Environmental Education Centre of Makrynitsa, on the island of Milos by local associations and at Chersonissos in Crete by the Municipality and local associations.

HELMEPA wholeheartedly thanks all volunteers, local stakeholders, companies and the educational community, who through their extensive participation in this year’s campaign promote the value of synergy for a common cause and send a message of optimism for Clean Seas and Beaches.